Freedom, fairness, and the Doha Round

Turning our attention now from the problems HR 4137 raises for college students at home, we see that our government is making life more difficult for developing nations as well. There’s been some talk lately on the FC discussion list that we should broaden our focus on freedom to include issues relevant to developing nations. This is my first attempt to broach the issue.

The Doha Development Round of trade negotiations originated to directly address issues of trade impeding the world’s poorest nations. These include intellectual property issues like access to patented medicine, as well as other issues, like agricultural subsidies. Just last week, talks at the Doha Round collapsed, leaving me to wonder how long it will be until the United States starts doing what’s right with regard to these critical issues.

I rediscovered Doha by hanging around on Wikipedia: a few weeks ago I noticed a bunch of work happening on the Doha Round article. I’m a sucker for participatory culture after all. But check out the article. See anything missing? I see a dearth of images that would be nice if we rectified (the one image on there today was added just yesterday). And look, the WTO is kind enough to make a photo gallery publicly available. It would be so great if we could include those pictures on Wikipedia.

So, Free Culturites, I have a call to action:

Email publications@wto.org and ask if they would be so kind as to release some or all of their photos under a free copyright license (something like CC-BY would be fantastic). After all, it’s not like the WTO exists to make money off of its photo gallery somehow. Myself and a fellow editor are waiting to hear back from them, and I figure some support couldn’t hurt.

Oh, and if you feel like it, jump in and help improve the article. Long live participatory culture!

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